I feel so noticed! The fabulous John Green (author of Looking for Alaska, etc.) blogged about my August 21 post, and then did anyone catch that Roger Sutton commented on the last post? He's the editor of Horn Book magazine. As professional reviewers both, I was fascinated with their point-of-view. And I think Roger's right--what qualifies as a "spoiler" can be different for everyone. And you need to be able to talk about the book's plot to some degree in a review. I have had professional reviews (as well as casual reviews) that revealed the ending of the book, such as including naming the murderer in a murder mystery, unmasking characters in disguise, and declaring late-book deaths. There may not be easy rules with regards to spoilers, but in my opinion, if an event takes place in the second half of the book or is a mystery the story revolves around, it's best not to reveal it.
Okay, so here's the subject-promised contest number 1:
the actor and the housewife in a bookclub near you! Read the actor and the housewife with your bookclub and then report the experience. I'll select the account that interests me the most (I know! Vague criteria!) and the winner will get a big ol' box of books, filled with my titles (signed) as well as others. Remember how exciting it was to go to school the day book orders came in? And getting that new stack of books? That's how it'll be. But even cooler. No real guidelines for this. You can write me an account, send me a link where you've posted photos, or make a video, or do any combination of the three. However you want. Shorter seems better, i.e. a 3000 word commentary or a 15 minute video can get boring. Email me the account (or link to it, if you post a video or a blog with photos), with the subject line "Actor and the Housewife contest" to squeetus (at) gmail (dot) com. Please no attachments. Contest runs through January 2010.
And on to contest number 2:
Rapunzel takes her revenge! Create a book trailer for rapunzel's revenge, post it on youtube, and send me the link. Please put "Rapunzel Revenge contest" in the subject line and send to: squeetus (at) gmail (dot) com. No rules, but again, shorter is better (I recommend under 2 minutes), and of course, keep it clean. Contest runs through January 2010, the month the sequel, calamity jack, will be released! I announced this contest earlier, so let me clarify something: Marcus Aurelius made this fabulous trailer, but it is not entered into the contest, so don't worry that you're competing against his awesomness. The winner for this contest will be selected by popular vote. In January, I'll post links to all the entries. Again, the winner gets an amazing array of books, including many of my titles, all signed.
Have fun with these! I can't wait to see the entries.
Also, one more link--this is a blog kept by an illustrator father and his four kids. For their third anniversary, professional illustrators chose a drawing made by one of the kids and redid it in their own style. I love how the profressional illustrations celebrate rather than "correct." Really lovely. What great kiddos!